The Proud Underdogs Of Pokemon GO's Team Instinct

Team Instinct is, by most available metrics, the smallest of Pokemon GO's three factions. They are, if nothing else, numerical underdogs. It's a role many of its members have embraced. The reaction to Instinct's recently revealed leader, Spark, is the latest chapter in the team's come-from-behind saga. People are calling him a doof, a slob and a meme lord. He's an obnoxious bro, an oblivious meathead, a guy who's accidentally stumbled across an article or two from renowned MRA hive Return of Kings and gone, "You know these guys really make a lot of sense."

But members of Team Instinct see him differently. He's enthusiastic and fun. He's all heart and determination. He loves everybody, even as they mercilessly tear him limb-from-limb, Guy Fieri hair-from-scalp.

To hear Team Instinct tell it, theirs is the team that will ultimately conquer with the help of camaraderie and teamwork because, well, they don't exactly have numbers on their side.

Members are willing to admit, though, that they don't always triumph. Sometimes that's because they're dealing with insurmountable odds:

Other times it's because they're too dang nice and trusting:

Team Instinct members can also get pretty... intense about their affiliation. For instance, here is a rap:

And I'll let this one speak for itself:

They also really love to be all edgelordy and tell everyone that there's no shelter from the storm, often with Game of Thrones font:



In the past 24 hours, however, there's been an increasing number of people saying that they wish they picked Team Instinct, because Spark is weirdly endearing. People who've been Instinct all along find it so delicious that they're worried their perfect Spark abs might morph into schadenfreude beer bellies.

So yeah, Team Instinct is happy to play the underdog. They like to think themselves friendly and well-meaning, even if they're also prone to bursts of melodrama and anti-anyone-who's-not-Team-Instinct sentiment. They identify with other frequently made-fun-of groups like Hufflepuff from Harry Potter. Basically, Team Instinct is what happens when an underdog emerges pretty much from the get-go, in a team lineup otherwise devoid of strong identifiable characteristics. The concept of "underdog" is the core of their identity, rather than just a part.

And it works for them, because on some level, everybody secretly loves being the underdog. Even losses are small victories.


    I'm sorry do you have any source to back up instinct being the smallest? I don't believe this is actually the case, people are just picking on them because yellow version was the noob/Pikachu version of the game and hence mostly casuals picked it.

    My only available metric is the people I know playing and I'd say the majority of them are instinct (because they are filthy casuals).

    Last edited 26/07/16 2:35 pm

      Adobe's got some interesting stats grabbed from social media:

      But aside from that, most online polls have consistently shown Instinct to be the smallest group. It's not the 10 to 1 ratio that some people claim, but it's definitely the smallest.

        Sure but I mean again, casuals are less likely to be on those sites. The people I know playing instinct haven't really played Pokemon before or only did as a kid when the big craze initially hit.

        Also social mentions don't mean people are actually saying they are part of those teams.

        I'm not saying I'm right. I have no means to guess at the numbers. Just pointing out there are no real stats in aware of.

        Last edited 26/07/16 5:48 pm

          you use the term casuals like you understand what you are saying, i prefer to think we are die hard fans like myself that played the original pokemon on a no$gmb emulator in Japanese before it was even a thing in English, who just happen to love Zapdos...

    Yeah...except in my area Mystic and Instinct hold most of the gyms. Here I am on little ol' Valor where every gym I take is gone 5-10 minutes later.

    He’s an obnoxious bro, an oblivious meathead, a guy who’s accidentally stumbled across an article or two from renowned MRA hive Return of Kings and gone, “You know these guys really make a lot of sense.”

    So much projection... So little life....

    I would have chosen Instinct because Red and Blue are so overdone in everyone, except their name and Zapdos both suck.

    At the start of all this, I thought that Articuno would be the underdog.

    When the three birds are in a battle royale, Articuno is the one with all the disadvantages.

    Mystic is basically a no show in my town, valor is the pokemon game players and instinct is full of the ingress players and their friends. Making them the strongest team as they're very organised. Valour is pretty organised, usually in groups of 3 steam rolling high level gyms. And now dodging works I'm able to solo up to level 8 gyms depending on type advantages

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